Weiner: What Does Future Hold for Kedon Slovis?

Posted on November 26, 2021

  By Matt Weiner, SportsPac12

Heading into Kedon Slovis’ first game against UCLA in 2019 there were questions about a future quarterback battle between him and former 5-star JT Daniels who was out for the year with a torn ACL.

Was it worth ditching a blue chip prospect for a mostly unknown 3-star who had potential of being the next great diamond-in-the-rough story?

This question was answered decisively when Slovis humiliated the Bruins, throwing for 500 plus yards and four touchdowns.

Fast forward two years later, and JT Daniels is likely going to win a national championship at Georgia as a backup quarterback.

And now it’s Slovis who might be forced to suit up in different threads come next fall.

Did I and other USC observers and fans have wool pulled over our eyes, or was this predicament always in the cards for Slovis?

USC quarterback Kedon Slovis | John McGillen/USC Athletics

How can someone with a 69% completion percentage and a TD-to-INT ratio of 47-to-16 in their first two years as a starter become unwanted goods the next year?

I can offer no true explanation besides it’s the cycle of being a quarterback at a top program trying to climb back on top of the mountain.

Hunger and desperation are bred to attach to the hip of impulsivity.

If we’ve learned anything from Tyler Perry’s Madea, Hollywood loves writing the same script while changing a detail or two.

The classic case of the promising quarterback who got leap frogged by a shinier toy who might get leap frogged himself in due time.

Hailing from Scottsdale, Arizona—which is just Calabasas with less reality TV, but more heat and cacti—he has always appeared to have that perfect amalgamation of stoicism and a breezy coolness.

His cool head and calm demeanor has held him in high regard with the fans and PR department.

However, upon seeing him at the blowout against UCLA on Saturday I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a deeper hurt.

I was fortunate enough to be a part of the crew that helps out with USC’s mascot Traveler on one occasion this season, so I was able to catch a glimpse of Slovis I wasn’t expecting to see.

Kedon Slovis in sweats. | Chris Gardner/Getty Images

Due to a lower leg injury, he was nearly unrecognizable when in sweats and a jersey without any shoulder pads underneath.

I did several double-takes because it was difficult to think that I was looking at someone whom multiple pundits predicted to be a First-Round NFL Draft pick and Heisman front runner.

Accompanied by fourth-stringer Mo Hasan, there appeared to be an invisible ton of bricks on his shoulders. I wondered if the heaviness was a realization that an end was coming.

From my point of view an end seemed inevitable for him. After all, USC is primed to orchestrate a legal purge and rid themselves of every relic from the Clay Helton era.

An end to his career at USC doesn’t mean an end to his career in football.

Part of what makes him such a viable option for teams is how well he has handled all of the adversity from this season.

There isn’t a single quote one can pull from a presser where he has deflected blame and threw someone under the bus.

He could’ve come out guns blazing and ridiculed Helton, but he had the wits about him to keep his lips zipped.

This has garnered tons of respect from Trojans fans because it shows that there weren’t any character flaws that led to this predicament. 

Kedon Slovis has been a team player off the field. | Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Weathering the storm with integrity has made him a viable option for teams looking to pick up a quarterback in the transfer portal.

Beyond the character traits he’s still a major asset when set up in the right system and given the right talent around him. 

Starting out in 2019 with Michael Pittman Jr, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Drake London was like being gifted a six-figure trust fund.

But when each of these options were plucked off the roster due to the NFL draft or injury, Slovis digressed. 

Personally, this shows me that teams who have everything except a quarterback would have heavy pockets if they invested into Slovis. 

Georgia strikes me as a team that would fit into this category.

Somehow they have been head-and-shoulders above the entire nation, outscoring opponents by an average of 33 points per game while never having a QB throw for more than 375 yards.

Current QBs Stetson Bennett and JT Daniels have been pedestrian when toe-to-toe; Slovis projects higher than both of them. 

Same applies to Pac-12 North foe Oregon. After Justin Herbert left in 2019, the Ducks struggled at QB with Tyler Shough in 2020 and now with Anthony Brown in 2021.

Oregon’s Travis Dye talks with coaches vs Cal. | Andy Nelson/AP

In both of Oregon’s losses this season, Brown has sent the team down the road to perdition due to an inability to provide any sort of electricity.

The positional talent Oregon possesses would bode well with Slovis’ precision in short routes that eventually opens up the big bombs. 

Georgia and Oregon are just two examples, but there are plenty more that have the talent to make it to the playoff, but lack a proven gunslinger like Slovis to actually make it happen. 

The Slovis I witnessed in day clothes and sloped shoulders on Saturday shouldn’t be the last version I see of him again.

He clearly has the talent and the right head on his shoulders to dominate once again, but it won’t take place at USC.

A purge will soon be taking place and, unfortunately, Slovis figures to become collateral damage.

—Recent Matt Weiner Stories—

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